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‘Dollar van’ crackdown coming

About to get some TLC: The Taxi and Limousine Commission plans to crack down on so-called “dollar vans” by seizing the rides from unlicensed operators and selling them at auction.
Brooklyn Paper
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They want to buck the dollar van trend.

The city is cracking down on so-called “dollar vans” operating illegally, in response to a hit-and-run near Kings Plaza that claimed a local man’s life in August. The vans operate as for-hire vehicles — usually charging $2 for rides up and down arterial roadways such as Flatbush Avenue — but many drivers are not licensed with the Taxi and Limousine Commission, which ensures they are insured and have a safe record, and now officials plan to seize and auction off vans whose drivers are busted twice for illegal operation, according to a local pol who has been pushing the new program.

“We are working on a program — looking to make sure that becomes part of the protocol for NYPD and TLC — that they can take illegal vans off the street, because the people getting on these vans have no clue that they are not insured and have no clue they are not licensed,” said state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Marine Park).

Currently, cops only issue fines when they catch unlicensed livery drivers, but that is not enough — drivers consider the penalties a cost of doing business, but the prospect of losing their wheels entirely may get more traction, according to a taxi commission spokesman.

“The disincentive is obviously huge,” said agency rep Allan Fromberg.

The city plans to start the new second-strike program within the next few months, but first offenses would still only result in a summons, he said.

Police used to seize vehicles on first offenses — sometimes before alleged offenders were even found guilty — until a judge ruled the practice unconstitutional in 2015. But the two-strike policy appears to stand on firmer legal ground, Fromberg said.

Meantime, officers from the 63rd Precinct — which encompasses Marine Park and Mill Basin — are handing out more tickets, Golden said.

“There’s been hundreds of summonses, Captain Burke [the precinct’s commander] is doing an outstanding job. The TLC is doing an outstanding job,” he said.

The pre-2015 practice of seizing vans was a major blow to drivers, and the proposed program will hit them where it hurts, one unlicensed dollar van operator said.

“It’s my personal van. It will mess me up,” said a driver at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U who refused to give his name.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Rufus Leaking from BH says:
For the same reason that Eric Garner died - pennies of taxes that the piggies need to fill the trough.
Nov. 3, 2016, 9:39 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
I hear about crackdowns every year, but there are still plenty of illegal dollar vans operating in plain sight (with out of state plates) up and down Flatbush Ave.
Nov. 3, 2016, 9:43 am
Mike from Slope says:
Good. These guys drive like maniacs.

We should extend this practice to seizing the cars of any driver caught going more than 10mph over the speed limit or running a red light. The city would be much safer.
Nov. 3, 2016, 12:24 pm
Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. from BS, BK, NY, US says:
These dollar vans are one of the major reasons why the overall MTA bus ridership went down the tubes in the past decade, especially for the B41, B46, Q5, Q85, Q111, Q113 and Q114 MTA buses, where dollar vans are running rampant along these major streets.
Nov. 3, 2016, 12:51 pm
Trollerskates from Moving Target says:
What Mike is really saying is that the city should seize all private cars, because they all speed, and run red lights.
Nov. 3, 2016, 1:56 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The drivers of the dollar vans should either agree to licensing with the rest of the taxi and car services that are part of the TLC or just not exist anymore, and the same should go for Uber and Lyft as well.
Nov. 3, 2016, 5:28 pm
Robert from Nyc says:
leqve the dollar cabs alone and stop trying to take money from everybody's pockets. damn
Nov. 4, 2016, 12:11 am
Catherine says:
Please crack down on these. As the others say, they are terribly unsafe. I assume they also have no insurance in case of accidents.
Nov. 4, 2016, 7:28 am
Brendan from Flatbush says:
These vans have been a huge problem for over 20 years. Let's get rid of them forever. Go Marty!
Nov. 4, 2016, 10:18 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ban these vans! They keep kicking me out of them after I paid. They claim I am not allowed to masturbate or finger myself while riding in the van. I hope Trump wins this election.
Nov. 4, 2016, 11:43 am
K. from ArKady says:
Gotta crack down on those illegal drivers: unfair competition for Uber!
Nov. 4, 2016, 11:58 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I hate to break this to you, but Uber isn't licensed to the TLC either and they shouldn't be getting special treatment either considering how much the taxis have to pay for the medallions while they don't have to pay for them at all hence being gypsy cabs.
Nov. 4, 2016, 5:48 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Actually this is just K. I wanted, for one brief shining moment, to see the world through Tal's eyes. As through a glass, darkly.
Nov. 4, 2016, 5:59 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other fake Tal or possibly real Tal, or possibly real Tal pretending to be Tal really. You do realize that Uber is licensed by the TLC in NYC right?
Nov. 4, 2016, 6:59 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I did not know this, actually.

In the best of all possible worlds, we would dispense with these other handles and the site would just automatically log you in as Tal. In this corrupt and mortal soil of earth, we can only ape the divine by logging in one at a time... Like a group of relay runners realizing Prometheus.
Nov. 5, 2016, 1:11 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I am omnipresent.
Nov. 6, 2016, 12:26 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, knock it off with the impersonations of me especially when I was away from computer all day yesterday and only got on now. Whether or not Uber is licensed by TLC, I am against the fact that they don't need medallions, which many of the taxi drivers have to use. Unless there is a plan to eliminate the medallions altogether, this is the law until then. Overall, I'm not against competition, I'm against those who don't like to play the rules and feel that because of who they are they can be exempt while all others must be subject to them, which makes it unfair to others.
Nov. 6, 2016, 3:56 pm
Kissmyass from Brooklyn says:
These dollar cabs would of been gone years ago the city makes millions in fines tickets on these cabs they playing everyone for fools they are not going to stop dollar cabs cause if they do they loss millions in money that they didn't expect to have please the city is crooks anyways
Aug. 9, 2017, 1:14 pm
Kissmyass from Brooklyn says:
If they wanted to stop cabs they could simply just say from now on anyone that drive dollar cabs you all are under arrest it's over no more cabs please it's been more than 30 years dollar cabs been here and still here give me a break the city ain't trying to stop make that money they getting
Aug. 9, 2017, 1:19 pm

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